Belviq Withdrawn from the US Market Due to Potential Cancer Risk

On February 13, 2020 The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requested that the manufacturer of Belviq, Belviq XR (lorcaserin) voluntarily withdraw the weight-loss drug from the U.S. market because a safety clinical trial shows an increased occurrence of cancer with long term use. The drug manufacturer, Eisai has submitted a request to voluntarily withdraw the drug.

Although the risk was small (0.6% increased risk compared to those taking placebo), the FDA felt this warranted removal from the market. There does not appear to be an increased risk of cancer in the initial months of treatment, but the risk is increased with longer duration on Belviq.

You should stop taking Belviq and call the office to schedule an appointment to discuss alternative weight-loss medicines and/or weight management programs.

The FDA is not recommending special screening for patients who have taken Belviq.  As with any individual patient, regardless of prior Belviq treatment, standard screening recommendations for cancer should be implemented.

Author
Scott Isaacs, MD Endocrinologist and Weight Loss Specialist

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